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Bouncy Gabba pitch could be the right place for my secret delivery: Nathan Lyon




Nathan Lyon, who will play his 100th Test match at The Gabba from Friday, says he will get more assistance from the Gabba wicket as it has more bounce than Sydney or Melbourne and could help him bring out his secret delivery on the fifth day of the Test match against India.

The off-spinner also said that the slow Sydney wicket did not allow him to bring the secret delivery during the drawn third Test.

“This summer has been challenging with obviously playing against India again. They have come up with plans to combat me. But to be honest I am quite happy with the way I have been bowling. I have been able to create some chances which has been really positive…but some days the wheel doesn’t turn around and you don’t have much luck in the middle,” said Lyon while speaking to the media in a virtual interaction on Wednesday.

“I am very happy the way they are coming out of hand and I am confident and excited to get here at Gabba where there will be a bit more bounce than what was at the MCG and SCG, definitely SCG anyway. I am excited that if I keep doing my job then luck will keep changing here and there. I just got to stay patient…Who knows I could bring (secret delivery) on Day 5 if we happen to be bowling. It is still coming…keep watching.”

About the Sydney wicket, he said, “It would have been nice to have a big footmark…but I was still able to get spin here and there out of it. The wicket was a bit slow and we couldn’t capitalise on our chances.”

The 33-year-old added that he is far from done and is hungry for more matches. He wants to continue playing for well beyond 100 Test matches.

“When I finish my career, I will be able to sit down with smile on my face — sort of gave my all. This is my 100th. But I am far from being done in my eyes. I am more hungry than ever. I want to go and play as much cricket for Australia and win more matches,” he said.

“(But) not look too far ahead and try and take each and every day with a smile on your face. Mike Hussey gave me that piece of advice before I bowled my first ball. He said, come up and play with a smile on your face, you will hopefully relax a bit. Punter (Ricky Ponting) said in the first game ‘just back your skill’.

“There have been some highs and lows. You look at the Adelaide Test in 2014, that was one of the biggest highs in my career and then you look at Edgbaston, amazing high, you come to Leeds, you come down the ladder, so that is something amazing about Test cricket. It is amazing ride. There have been lots of ups and down in my career,” Lyon added.

The off-spinner said that he would be talking to his personal spin coach John Davison, who is currently with Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash. The bio-secure environment hasn’t allowed Lyon to see him during the ongoing series. But Lyon says he will speak to him like he does after every match.

“I will contact him anyway. I usually contact him after every Test and have a conversation. He is the best spin coach at the moment. I will touch base with him and nail down a couple of little things — regarding the pitch, need to adapt,” he said before adding that he is being ably guided by team captain Tim Paine and batsman Steve Smith.

“I think I have played enough cricket to know what I need to do. That is the beauty of having Tim Paine and Steve Smith around the bat there as well. Obviously, they are very talented. They have passed a lot of knowledge from when Smith was batting against (Ravichandran) Ashwin to Paine keeping against me.”

Lyon will become the 13th Australian to play 100 Test matches. He joins an elite league that comprises Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Allan Border, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath among others. Lyon says he still can’t believe it.

“It has been very exciting because I look at the 12 guys to have played 100 Test matches. They are pure legends in my eyes not just for CA but all around the world. I am going to pinch myself each and every day to see my name against those fellows. It is pretty amazing,” he said.


4th Test: India 62/2 at stumps after rain washes out 3rd session




Rain washed out the third session of the second day of the fourth and final Test at the Gabba here on Saturday with India going to stumps at 62 for two in reply to Australia’s 369 in the first innings.

India lost both their openers early as they went to tea at 62 for the loss of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma’s wickets before heavy downpour caused a deluge in the outfield.
While rain stopped, the groundstaff could not drain off the water and make the ground fit for resumption of play.

Play will resume half an hour early on the third day to make up for the lost overs.

Both the Indian wickets fell in the second session.

Shubman Gill was caught at second slip by Steve Smith off the bowling of Pat Cummins when the team score was 11 while Rohit Sharma, who looked good for his 74-ball 44, was caught at long on off the bowling of Nathan Lyon after adding 49 for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara.

Earlier, Australia were bowled out for 369 in their first innings before lunch.

The hosts lost their last five wickets for 58 runs.

Pace bowlers T Natarajan and Shardul Thakur, and off-spinner Washington Sundar took three wickets each.

Resuming at the overnight 274/5, Australia lost Tim Paine (50) at 311 and then Cameron Green (47) at 313. Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc added 39 for the ninth wicket.

Brief scores Australia 369 (M Labuschagne 108, T Paine 50, C Green 47, T Natarajan 3/78, W Sundar 3/89, S Thakur 3/94) vs India 62/2 (Rohit Sharma 44)

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Will try to aim at the crack outside off-stump: Nathan Lyon




Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon has said he is looking to exploit the crack outside the off-stump during the ongoing fourth and final Test at the Gabba.

The ongoing Test is his 100th and Lyon is looking to get his 400th Test wicket in the series. The Rohit Sharma wicket just prior to tea was his 397th.

“It was like a Day 3 wicket yesterday, and there’s a nice crack outside off-stump so I’m trying to aim at that. My natural line is Paine’s right glove, that’s about a foot outside off-stump, and there’s a nice crack on that line so hopefully I can get something out of that,” said Lyon after the end of the second day’s play. He added that he tried to bowl his best ball to Rohit.

Lyon said that he is looking forward to resuming battle with Rishabh Pant who took him on in the third Test while also surviving a few chances.

“Rishabh always tries to smash me so I’m looking forward to bowl to him, it’s always a great battle with him,” said Lyon.

Lyon, whose parents are at the Gabba watching him play his 100th Test, said bubble restrictions haven’t allowed them to meet each other.

“It would’ve been nice to go out for dinner with everyone, including my parents but there are bubble restrictions,” said Lyon.

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I let Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc down: Tim Paine




Australia skipper Tim Paine has said he is not worried about the lack of wicket-taking form of Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc as he took the blame on himself for squandering opportunities to deny them wicket on the last day of the third Test against India in Sydney.

Lyon has taken just six wickets while Starc has taken nine in the three Tests of the series so far.

“I think he (Lyon) has bowled okay. I thought in the first Test match in Adelaide, he created heaps of chances and didn’t get a hand. I thought the other day he bowled beautifully. If I hadn’t dropped a couple, it would have been a completely different story. Nathan Lyon playing 100th Test match — that is not easy. Absolutely top of the tree, how good he is. I don’t think that has changed. I don’t think it will change,” said Paine on Thursday ahead of the fourth and final Test.

“No, I am not seeing any decline in him. Sometimes you get wickets, sometimes you don’t. It is still coming out of his hand beautifully. At times Indians have played him well, at times he has bowled well. Looking at the footage, he has created chances, some of which we have dropped. He will have a huge role to play in this Test,” added the Australia skipper.

Paine said that Starc is being his natural self — sometimes consistent, sometimes inconsistent.

“He is just that type of bowler. Some days he is what he is, he looks like he one of the great bowlers of the world and the next day he has a bad day like the rest of us. Even in the last day at Sydney, he had a nice spell. We know how good he is. We know on his day, he can rip the Test match apart. But that is not going to happen every day,” added Paine.

The wicketkeeper-batsman blamed himself.

“My role with him was to keep him nice and calm and keep him clear on what I and we expect of him and he is a type of bowler when he gets simple clear instructions that keep him clear, he normally brings the house down. My mood around Day 5 — that was the reason why he wasn’t at his best. Again it is me getting back to basics. Keeping him nice and relaxed. Keeping him clear on what we want him to do and when we do that, he more often than not does well,” said Paine.

The Aussie fast bowlers got a very little time for turnaround. They bowled 131 overs on the fourth and fifth days of the drawn third Test at the SCG and are getting just three days to recuperate from the toil.

“We tried to rejuvenate all three of our fast bowlers last week. It was a big Day 5 for them, big week and short turnaround. Those guys are very good at doing that. They are professionals. The reason why they are great cricketers is because they are extremely durable. They are about to play their fourth Test back to back,” said Paine.

The fourth match of the series beginning Friday at The Gabba will be broadcast on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels.

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